What is a Business Economics Degree?
A business economics degree focuses on the theory of how the economy works. Undergraduate economics degrees generally cover both macroeconomics (the big picture) and microeconomics, which focuses on small cogs within economic machine. Those studying economics will usually take general business classes and then general economics classes. Economics degrees also include many math classes. Bachelor’s degrees in economics will introduce students to economic theory, but in-depth research work based on the most complex economic theories is generally reserved for graduate students.
What are the Requirements for a Business Economics Degree?
First, students must be admitted to a university that offers an economics degree. They must have graduated from high school beforehand. Most universities require students to submit SAT or ACT test scores. Universities may also require a minimum high school GPA, although this can vary from 2.5 to 3.5 or more depending on how selective the university is. Once admitted, students must complete roughly two years of general education courses, a year of general business courses, and a year of economics courses. Most universities have similar degree tracks, although there is inevitably some variance.
What Can I Do With a Business Economics Major?
The business economics major is very versatile. Most students will enter the workforce upon graduation, although some will pursue graduate education. Those who go straight to work may go to work for financial companies or research institutes. Of course, many students simply go into entry-level management positions at companies in a wide variety of industries. Also, many economics graduates end up starting their own businesses.
25 Best Business Economics Degree Programs
1. Baruch College
Baruch College is one of the constituent institutions of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Baruch offers both a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Economics. The BBA degree is more focused on business practices, while the Economics degree is more focused on theory.
- Tuition per year: $7,462 in-state; $15,412 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 68.9%
2. Lehman College
Lehman College is another member of the CUNY system, which is known for providing quality education at an affordable price. Its Bachelor’s degree in Economics offers students a well-rounded education in the field. This program can be taken on campus in Bronx, New York or entirely over the Internet.
- Tuition per year: $7,410 in-state; $15,360 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 59%
3. Utah State University
Utah State University may be thousands of miles away from the first two schools on our list, but it is also an affordable public university. USU offers both a B.S. and a B.A. in Economics. The two programs are very similar, with the main difference being the B.A. degree’s foreign language requirement.
- Tuition per year: $8,402 in-state; $23,402 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 58.6%
4. Georgia State University
Georgia State University may be one of the lesser-known schools on this list, but it has a leading economics program. This program is known for being particularly strong in economic policy analysis. Students can pursue graduate education in economics at GSU, with the school even offering a Ph.D. program.
- Tuition per year: $9,286 in-state; $24,517 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 52%
5. Washington State University
Washington State University is one of the best public universities in the Pacific Northwest, so it should be no surprise that it makes this list. Its B.S. in Economic Sciences offers students instruction in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. Students can choose from many different specializations, including quantitative economics, international economics, business economics, agricultural economics, and environmental economics.
- Tuition per year: $11,841 in-state; $26,419 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 66.3%
6. Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers a highly-ranked B.A. degree in Economics. This degree can be completed on-campus or online from anywhere in the country. OSU offers specializations in Managerial Economics, Law, Economics, and Policy, and Mathematical Economics.
- Tuition per year: $11,715 in-state; $31,215 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 62.5%
7. University of California – San Diego
The University of California – San Diego has a strong economics program. Many of the faculty members in the university’s economics department are highly decorated in the field. This program has a strong focus on mathematics.
- Tuition per year: $14,415 in-state; $44,169 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 87%
8. University of Texas – Dallas
The University of Texas – Dallas has the highest-ranked economics program in the state. UTD offers both a B.A. and a B.S. in Economics. The B.S. degree focuses more heavily on math.
- Tuition per year: $13,442 in-state; $38,168 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 70.6%
9. Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University is one of the top public universities in the country, so it’s hardly surprising that it makes it into our top 10. The Economics program at Penn State is available as either a B.A. or a B.S. The B.A. requires students to achieve a high level of proficiency in a foreign language, while the B.S. requires students to complete challenging math courses.
- Tuition per year: $18,450 in-state; $35,514 non-resident
- Graduation rate: 85%
10. Liberty University
Liberty University is a private Christian university with a strong economics program. The degree offered is technically a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Economics focus. This ensures that students have a well-rounded education that prepares them for a variety of careers.
- Tuition per year: $22,747
- Graduation rate: 33.8%
11. Harvard University
Harvard University offers one of the finest economics programs in the entire world, and it only falls out of our top 10 due to its pricy tuition. Harvard’s B.A. in Economics allows students to customize their degree track to suit their interests. Many students go on to pursue graduate study in law, business, and other fields.
- Tuition per year: $51,925
- Graduation rate: 97%
12. Stanford University
Stanford University also has one of the strongest economics departments in the world. Its undergraduate economics degree allows students to choose one of five specializations. The school’s 4:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students get the personalized attention they need to get the most out of their education.
- Tuition per year: $53,529
- Graduation rate: 94%
We can help you find the perfect business economics program for your needs.
13. Washington University St. Louis
Washington University St. Louis has the top economics program in Missouri. Students have the opportunity to study abroad to learn about the economies of other countries. They also have numerous internship opportunities to ensure that they have some practical experience under their belts before they graduate.
- Tuition per year: $55,292
- Graduation rate: 93.7%
14. Georgetown University
Georgetown University has of the most innovative undergraduate economics programs on this list. The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is one of the leading institutions in the field, and students can benefit from this during their studies. Students who plan to continue their studies past the bachelor’s degree level will be happy to hear that Georgetown also boasts excellent graduate economics programs.
- Tuition per year: $56,058
- Graduation rate: 94.3%
15. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is best-known for its medical school, but it also has a top-notch economics program. Its Bachelor’s degree in Economics gives students an overview of the field instead of focusing on one area. The program focuses on quantitative reasoning and effective communication about economic subjects.
- Tuition per year: $55,350
- Graduation rate: 92%
16. Northwestern University
Northwestern University edges out the University of Chicago to be the top-ranked school on our list from Illinois. Many students who major in economics at Northwestern University double-major in another field, such as political science or mathematics. Students can even get both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in four years if they are accepted into the accelerated dual-degree program.
- Tuition per year: $56,691
- Graduation rate: 92%
17. University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania, commonly called “Penn,” is an Ivy League institution with an elite economics program. Undergraduate students can even publish papers in the university’s undergraduate economics journal. Students also have the opportunity to work with complex and powerful economics software.
- Tuition per year: $57,770
- Graduation rate: 95.2%
18. Duke University
Duke University is known as one of the best universities in the South, and economics is its most popular undergraduate major. Duke is one of the few universities to offer tutoring specifically for economics students. Students can also benefit from Duke’s groundbreaking economic research.
- Tuition per year: $58,031
- Graduation rate: 95%
19. New York University
New York University is located in arguably the world’s biggest economic center, so it’s not surprising to find it on this list. The Bachelor’s degree in Economics at NYU can be taken with either a Theory concentration or a Policy concentration. Exceptional students can join the honor’s program, which requires a senior thesis for graduation.
- Tuition per year: $53,308
- Graduation rate: 85.4%
20. Boston College
Boston College offers a highly ranked and innovative undergraduate degree in economics. This program is heavily focused on research. Students also have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through a variety of internships.
- Tuition per year: $57,910
- Graduation rate: 92.5%
21. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a business-focused private university with a strong economics program. This program offers innovative classes to prepare students for the challenges of the modern economy. Roughly one-third of students pursue graduate study in economics, which is much higher than the rate at many similar institutions.
- Tuition per year: $57,119
- Graduation rate: 90%
22. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California has the top-ranked economics program in the state. Economics is one of the most popular majors at USC. Undergraduate students are allowed to collaborate with their professors on research, which is not always the case at similar universities.
- Tuition per year: $58,195
- Graduation rate: 91.5%
23. Boston University
Boston University is a leading research university with strong programs in many areas, including economics. Economics majors at BU are allowed to minor in another field to broaden their educational horizons. Students compete for departmental honors by submitting research papers and defending them in front of a committee.
- Tuition per year: $55,892
- Graduation rate: 86.5%
24. University of Chicago
The University of Chicago finishes behind rival Northwestern on our list, but its economics program is still very strong. This program focuses on economic models and price determination. Students have a great deal of flexibility to customize their degree plan.
- Tuition per year: $60,552
- Graduation rate: 94.2%
25. Brandeis University
Brandeis University boasts a leading economics program which is actually the most popular area of study for its students. Students are encouraged to pursue their own research projects. Brandeis offers many innovative courses that blend economics with other areas of the arts and sciences.
- Tuition per year: $57,561
- Graduation rate: 88.7%
How We Formulated These Rankings
We took two factors into consideration when we were coming up with these rankings. First and foremost, we looked at the yearly tuition rate that each school charges. Schools that charge different rates for in-state students and non-resident students only had their in-state tuition rate considered. Secondly, we also looked at each school’s graduation rate. To come up with our rating for each school, we took the yearly tuition rate and added a multiplier equivalent to the percentage of students who didn’t graduate. For example, a school that has yearly tuition of $50,000 and a graduation rate of 90% would have a rating of 55,000 (50,000 x 110%). Lower ratings result in better rankings on our list.
If you represent one of the institutions on this list and you need to make a correction or ask a question, feel free to reach out to us.
If you’re a prospective student looking for the perfect business economics program, we can give you the info you need to make the right choice.